The outstanding Syrahs of Sam Lambson

Nov 23, 2023 | All, Local wines | 0 comments



Sam Lambson has been on our radar since 2019. With this excellent set of wines, we have no doubt that the 26-year-old Young Gun is on track to become one of the top Syrah producers in the country! If you’re a fan of Boschkloof, Rall, Damascene and and Van Loggerenberg, these wines are a must.

Minimalist Wines Stars in the Dark 2022 comes ‘highly recommended’  by Neal Martin of Vinous, scoring 96 points. This is a Cape Agulhas Syrah with a real sense of place, and we love its ‘black cardamom’ (JR, 17.5/20) and lamb spice notes. Poised and well balanced, it has tension and white pepper in spades.

Minimalist wines by Sam Lambson

From Elgin, the 2022 No Place Like Home is ‘sophisticated …but also delicious’ (Neal Martin). Tamlyn Currin from calls it ‘outstanding’ – a ‘Syrah in a Pinot silk sheath’. The tannins are refined, with pure fruit and a ‘seductive tenderness’ (NM).

The Connect the Dots 2021 is our favourite of the three. Predominantly Elgin Syrah with 9% Cape Agulhas and 7% Stellenbosch fruit, the nose is pure Northern Rhône, showing tapenade, meat spice, blood orange and black pepper. The palate is savoury with a cool fruit core and elegant tannins, and the acidity is electric. If you’re like us, you’ll finish a bottle before you know it.

Sam Lambson is obsessed with quality, minimal intervention and wines of detail. He has a love affair with cool-climate sites and works gently in the vineyards as well as the cellar. Sam launched Minimalist Wines at the age of just 21 after working harvests under the likes of Carl van der Merwe, Lukas van Loggerenberg and Chris Alheit.

Tasting Notes:

Minimalist Wines Stars in the Dark Syrah 2022

‘The 2022 Stars in the Dark comes from Cape Agulhas, stomped underfoot with one-third whole bunches, aged in 3rd and 4th fill French oak. The red fruit on the nose seems to “hug” the olfactory senses, very pure and beautifully delineated, an underlying mineralité gaining momentum with aeration. The medium-bodied palate has fine-grained tannins, extremely well-balanced with a precise, edgy finish, black pepper and black tea lingering temptingly. This continues Lambson’s strong run of form and comes highly recommended.’ – Neal Martin, Vinous, 96/100

‘This has the smell of a wind blowing over rocks and dried herbs. I see exactly exactly what Lambson means by salt and pepper (and white pepper). It tastes of black cardamom and roses. This has such a beautiful moment-before-the-storm feel; an inner tension; a breathlessness; a sense of waiting. The tannins are long and have a flute-like mellifluousness, almost a sense a keening. Garrigue/fynbos perfume on the finish.’ – Tamlyn Currin,, 17.5/20

Minimalist Wines No Place Like Home Syrah 2022

‘The 2022 No Place Like Home is pure Syrah from Elgin containing 20% whole bunches, matured in used oak barrels. This is higher-toned and more opulent than the Stars In The Dark, with dark fruit but more floral in style. The medium-bodied palate has saturated tannins, very harmonious and poised, gently building in the mouth with veins of blue fruit towards the finish. There is a very seductive tenderness here. Sophisticated Syrah…but also delicious!’ – Neal Martin, Vinous, 94/100

‘Smells sweeter than his other reds: more strawberries; a kiss; pomegranate, orange-peel texture. Sibilant acidity. Rustling, crackling texture and energy. And then almost meltingly silky. This is Syrah in a Pinot silk sheath. Those tannins are remarkable, the fruit is diaphanously pure. Outstanding.’ – Tamlyn Currin,, 18/20

Minimalist Wines Connect the Dots Syrah 2021

This vintage has not been rated yet.

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